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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 4, December 2017
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Claire Everett
Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England


Making Tracks

in rain-soaked earth
the comings and goings
of all kinds of folk . . .
how many generations
before my story is lost?

Were it not for these coordinates there would have been no other reason to take this path. Unlikely we would have clambered over the stile, summoned by the crooked finger of Happenstance. Now this church, quieter than its mice, stooped behind the trees; for all we can tell its steeple bell calls few to prayer, yet, by the light or dark of the moon, surely rabbits, foxes, deer will flit between the tilted stones?

that holloway
worn by countless feet
is now a poem
by my own hand
remembering our steps

And lately, too, that turn never before taken, past a leaf-strewn village green where the stocks have doubtless shackled wayward ghosts for more than half a millennium. How many hamlets—I forget the names—might never have beckoned otherwise? A few carefully chosen words have found us waist-deep in rusted rosebay or fumbling through the ivy of a priory well. Only yesterday, that well-appointed seat had us taking in the view of the castle, the river and the hills' blue-beyond, wondering if the clue was in the plaque: In memory of Jack and May who met on this bench in July 1941 and lived happily ever after . . .

near the gate
between two fieldstones
a geocache . . .
the traces I've left behind
in a lifetime of poems


Author's Note: Geocaching is a worldwide outdoor treasure-hunting game that makes use of GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a designated set of GPS coordinates and then endeavour to find the geocache (a sealed—and hopefully weatherproof—container including trinkets and a logbook) hidden at that location.

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